“Every moment counts. Every second matters.” — Elie Wiesel

I am super excited to share this news with you! I have been a fan of Elie Wiesel ever since first reading his book Night when I was a kid. This powerful interview is a MUST SEE!

Oprah Winfrey will sit down with Nobel Peace Prize winner and New York Times best-selling author Elie Wiesel on the Emmy® Award-winning series Super Soul Sunday in an all-new episode “Oprah and Nobel Prize Winner Elie Wiesel: Living with an Open Heart” premiering THIS SUNDAY, December 9, at 11:00 a.m. ET/PT on OWN. If you don’t have OWN you can also watch on a worldwide simulcast on Oprah.com or Facebook.com/supersoulsunday.

In the intimate interview, which falls on the first day of Hanukkah, Wiesel, a Holocaust survivor and the author of the internationally-acclaimed memoir, Night, talks about facing his own mortality when, at age eighty-two, he was rushed into open heart surgery, as detailed in his latest memoir, Open Heart. His fears associated with the lifesaving operation allowed him to re-examine his career and deepen his devotion to his family. Wiesel talks about being a witness to history as a Holocaust survivor, losing his life savings in the Bernard Madoff scandal, and what he hopes will be the destiny of his life’s work.

A special re-broadcast of The Oprah Winfrey Show original episode “A Special Presentation: Oprah and Elie Wiesel at Auschwitz Death Camp,” where, in 2006, Oprah and Wiesel traveled to Poland together, will air immediately following, from 12-1 p.m. ET/PT on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network.

For a Sneak Peek:


EXCERPT: Oprah Winfrey and Elie Wiesel discuss being a Holocaust survivor

WINFREY: You’ve said that Holocaust survivors are becoming an endangered species. Indeed, you all are. Yet, you don’t fear the memory of the Holocaust will ever be lost.



WIESEL: I’ll tell you why. Because, you know, all of us who went through that experience considered ourselves as witnesses. When the last witness will be gone, I don’t want to be that one. It’s too tragic. What will happen? So, on one hand, you could become pessimistic that with the last witness, all the knowledge, all the experience, all the memories will be buried. Then what? So, I came up with a theory which I think is valid: To listen to a witness is to become one.

WINFREY: To listen to a witness—

WIESEL: Is to become a witness.

WINFREY: To become a witness.

WIESEL: So, therefore, those who have listened to us, who have read my books and other survivors’ memoirs, we have a lot of witnesses now. And they will protect not only our past, but also their future.

EXCERPT: Oprah Winfrey and Elie Wiesel discuss losing his life savings in the Bernard Madoff scandal

WINFREY: I have to ask you this because we spoke a couple of years ago and you had just been through a stunning experience, of all the stunning things that had happened to you, but when you got the call that you had lost your entire life savings, as well as fifteen-million dollars of the foundation that you and Marion had worked your whole lives for because of Bernie Madoff…What was the first thing you did? I mean, you just—that’s an unbelievable call to get.

WIESEL: I remember we were out, and we came home, and it was almost near midnight. The telephone rang. And we were frightened. Midnight.

WINFREY: Midnight.

WIESEL: It was Elisha. Elisha said, ‘First of all, don’t worry. Everybody’s good in the family. Nothing happened. Nothing. But now sit down.’

WINFREY: Sit down. This is your son.

WIESEL: My son. And our son—then he was a member of our Board. And he actually didn’t like the idea that we had placed so much money with Madoff.

WINFREY: Because you’d placed all the money with Madoff.

WIESEL: Yes. He said too much. And so that was a few months earlier before that. And we told him, come on, we know people who did that. If I told you the names, you would be surprised. The most prestigious names in the financial world.


WIESEL: Have given him money. So why shouldn’t we? He said, he’s in jail. We looked at each other and our reaction was, we have seen worse.

WINFREY: Mm. You and Marion.

WIESEL: Oprah, both she and I have seen worse.

So I hope you will tune in and check it out. And a very Happy Hanukkah for those celebrating beginning tonight!

Eric Handler is the publisher and co-founder of Positively Positive. Check out his TEDx talk. Follow Eric on TWITTER.

*Photo of Elie Wiesel with Oprah Winfrey. Photo Credit: © 2012 Harpo Productions, Inc./George Burns